Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jonah Asked Me For Something

Nowadays the boys take about a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. One of them wakes up before the other one and quietly comes and finds me. About 95% of the time it is Silas, but the other day it was Jonah who opened the door to my room and peeked in. I was snuggling on the bed with Eden looking at free sewing patterns online. Jonah looked at my open laptop and said, "Owl!" There was a owl plush toy pattern on my screen among a bunch of dress patterns. I didn't even know that he knew what an owl was. He then said, "Owl, Mama, Me!" Ever since Eden was born the boys know that I make her bows. They know that we made Daddy's Father's Day present and they know Jimmy made me something for my birthday (future post). They are starting to understand stuff like that. Every morning they point to Eden's hair bow and say, "Mama!" because I made it. I love that they look at things and think about creating them.

 I didn't think he would find a plush toy entertaining for long and assumed he would just forget about the whole thing anyway... but he didn't. For days he talked about the owl he wanted me to make him and he was very specific about wanting it blue. 

So since he wasn't dropping it I went to the market last week to my favorite little shop to buy some corduroy. When I got there they told me that some man bought all their bolts of corduroy to make shoes... great! There wasn't any plush fabric in blue to me found. Then I saw the sample pack sitting on the table.

I asked if they would sell me that and the owner did! For 25Q too! (about $3) It had 1/4 yard of every shade they use to offer. That is a 75Q value. And it had the exact shade of blue in it that I knew Jonah was wanting. Perfect!

Well my little boy was so happy the next day when I handed him his blue owl! The photo above catches only part of the pure delight. Silas had asked me for a red one, once he caught on to what his brother was talking about! So I guess they are at the age now where they can voice exactly what they want. I like that! I will cherish their reactions forever!

These little owls have earned a place on their beds. They sleep with them at night along with the monkeys Becca gave them.

{Jonah wakes up last because he goes to sleep last}
And we figured out that he learned what an owl was from the new Winnie the Pooh video his MaG sent.
I love my little boys so much!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Juan is Moving to Petén!

Juan is going to be here in a month! We first met him in language school in Xela. He attended the same church we did, was involved in ministry with us, and attended Jimmy's class at the Seminary there. It's hard to believe it's been over 5 years since we were there! Last year he came with several other guys from Xela on a mission trip to Petén led by some of our friends from KS. It was then he felt God calling him to come and work with the Kekchi people. 
{July 2011}
In addition to his degree from the Baptist Seminary in Xela, he is also a computer technician, computer teacher, and a motorcycle mechanic. All of these are practical skills that he can share with the men in the seminary here. With these skills we are praying that God brings him a part-time job to supplement his monthly missions support. He is currently raising his support from the churches in the mountains. 
{Juan's prayer Card}
While he was here 2 weeks ago helping us with the OH team, we were able to help him put together a presentation and a prayer card. Please pray for him as he is presenting his call in churches. Deputation can be tough. He is hoping to be here by mid-August. He will first get started learning Kekchi while he helps us in the new church plant in San Pancho. 
{July 2012}
His heart is really drawn to the villages that have missions, but no pastors, and a large part of his ministry will be teaching in the seminary to train new pastors, and then personally preaching in those villages on the weekends to encourage the new works as they wait for our graduates. 
It is almost as much of a change for him as it was for us! He has to learn a new language, a new culture, a new climate... and it is an 18 hour travel day from his home to Petén by bus. Please pray for him as he raises support and then as he acclimates to the different world that is Petén. Pray that we will be encouraging to him and that we will work well together. We are excited that our team is growing! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Birth of a Church

Jimmy is in Se Tul today checking on Domingo's tilapia pond. (Have I even posted about that project for the institute yet?) Anyway I was messing around with logo ideas today while my children napped, so this probably isn't the final product because Jimmy hasn't seen it yet.

We have been praying for direction for the church plant in San Pancho. We believe that God would have us start a Spanish work there for now and then have a Kekchi ministry out of that church in the future. We have 2 Kekchi families from SR that are sticking with the church plant. The dads and children speak pretty good Spanish. We have 1 Spanish family plus a teen who comes by herself from San Pancho plus several Spanish speaking families from SR who used to attend our Spanish Bible studies who want to start coming. So that is what we are starting with... pretty much from scratch.
{Eden pulled her bow down and was chewing on it!}
These are the people who were there this past Sunday morning... I'm telling you it wasn't a lot. 2 of the men in the photo above actually said they had not put their faith in Christ yet. So we have a little bit of everything, strong in their faith Christians, brand new Christians, non Christians, and people I'm keeping my eyes on because I don't know what they are (haha). We have representatives from every group that a church should be ministering to. It's a perfect blend.

Jimmy and I are so excited. The group there Sunday was excited too. We are building the church together from the ground up! This thursday we are all meeting there at 7am to fix up the church. We are sprucing the place up a little bit by painting, deep cleaning, hanging more lights, and making it more functional and inviting. 

Thank you everyone who has been praying and please don't stop! We have more help coming in a couple weeks. I will post about him soon!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time For a Happy Post!

Let's talk about E! It seems like Eden is growing so fast- rapid speed compared to 32 week preemies. I haven't talked about her hardly at all since her birth, so I think this blog could use an Eden fix.
{This is my favorite pic of her}
She is 4 months old now. I can see a little bit of Silas and Jonah in her looks and her personality.
Silas and Jonah were obvious to us who they take after, but with E it's up in the air. Everyone here keeps saying she looks like Jimmy. What?! Jimmy wouldn't look good as a girl. 
I think she looks like me.
So who do you think this baby looks like?

 That was easy, her mommy of course!

Having one baby after having twins is nothing but pure enjoyment! I love it so much, I could do it a dozen more times! One baby to nurse, one baby to bathe, one baby to carry around in her little pouch. 
I don't ever have to trade babies with anyone. We get to snuggle for as long as we want! (I would NEVER trade having twins though. After you survive those first crazy 6 months it's double the fun. In fact right before E was born I was a little sad thinking the era of the twins was over.)
Eden loves bath time. She chews on her entire hand rather than a thumb or a finger, so what's better than a hand... a hand wrapped in terry cloth. She had to have a special towel like her brothers, hers is a butterfly from Kiki.
She must just like water because she loves swimming too. We took her to a nearby pool the other day and she wanted her feet free behind her to wiggle around in the water while we pulled her along. 
{After a bath, all fresh and clean!}
Eden can roll over now. At first she would get so mad after she would roll herself over.  She has never liked being on her tummy. We cannot even rock her with her laying on her tummy on our chests, she only likes to be cradled. Finally now that she can push herself up after she rolls over she has decided it's not that bad. Still she grunts a lot while she is doing it, very badly wanting to crawl. Probably won't be long. She sleeps most peacefully on her side.
I adore her chubby thighs! 
{Eden getting a checkup}
Eden weighed 15 lbs and 25.2" at her most recent checkup that put her in the 90 percentile! She is growing fast right now.
She still has her daddy's blue eyes!
It's so much fun talking to her and making her smile. 

She has just started to giggle a little bit too. 
 This little girl has no fear. She liked her swing at our forever house. Her eyes would get real big and then she would smile as she swung back and forth. 

What's even braver is living with 2 crazy little boys. Eden regularly gets pelted with foam swords, inflatable balls, and all kinds of other toys. She is starting to learn how to defend herself!
She gets tons of kisses though too. 
She really does love her brothers. 
Mommy and Daddy have to fight for her attention when her brothers are in the room. They are much more interesting!
This is Silas and Jonah sharing their (play) cellphones so that E can talk to her grandparents! They thought of that on their own, I thought it was very loving. 
Eden knows her grandparents real good already through Skype. 
{Skyping with G & MaG}
I left Eden on a blanket by herself in the office under a chain of her toys to run and put fabric softener in the laundry. I came back a minute later and found this:
Eden must have interesting toys! Or maybe they just love their sister. I will enjoy it while the harmony lasts!
Eden likes to sit or lay with her foot on someone. She likes the comfort of knowing someones there, especially when she is trying to fall asleep. Not sure why it is with her foot though. Kind of funny. We laugh when we notice it. Love her for it!
It has been interesting doing stuff with 3 kids now. This is a tough situation. Jonah and Silas still want one arm around each of them and then you have to balance E in the middle too... and turn the pages. Haha, this scene happens a lot in this house. I hope they will always love being all together!
 We love our Eden to pieces! I am so thankful that God blessed our family with this sweet little girl. I never thought I would love having a girl as much as I loved having my boys, but I do... I so do. 

 The other day at our forever house Jonah and Silas made a fun discovery.
 They could talk to each other through the pipes leading to the leach field. Uhh... gross! It hasn't been used yet. Eventually these pipes will be cut down shorter. Hope they don't try to chit chat on them after we move in! Going to have to find caps for those things.
 I couldn't hear Jonah, but Silas stuck his face down the pipe and yelled, "Hey you guys!"

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sad, Frustrated, Disappointed... All of Those Emotions

2 weeks ago Jimmy had to ask the national pastor we had been working with at the Kekchi church plant in San Pancho to step down. We had been trying to work with him on fixing some really big issues, but he wasn't having it. He had been leading the church in a direction neither we, nor the Kekchi Baptist Pastors Association agree with doctrinally. That was the main issue. Besides that he had made it clear that he was no longer committed to the mission. We regularly would show up on Sunday mornings and he had taken a job somewhere else that day in order to make money instead of preaching at the church. This was a result of the very large debt he had gotten his family into because of an investment decision he had made before we ever met him. He was actively looking for any jobs that would make him more money because of this debt and said he could be leaving at any time. A threat had been made on his life because of the amount of money he owed and who he owed it to.

This was all unexpected to us. At the beginning this pastor was passionately committed to this mission. People, and by that I mean any of us, can get caught up in the cares of this world at any time and are only a couple decisions away from missing out on God's best for our lives. He had a great family, with a great job, a great ministry, a nice house, and plenty of food to eat. Now most of that has been destroyed because of risking everything in this investment scam. He isn't the same person we first got to know. 

Jimmy thought that last Sunday morning he would be able to explain everything to the church, or at least enough to where they would understand why the decision had to be made. What we weren't counting on was the pastor trying to completely ruin the mission during the week in between. He led the lady we were renting the building from to believe we were no longer wanting it and that she should look for new renters, he had the microbus that goes by and picks up our people in SR canceled even though he knew we were going to continue having services, and then he went to SR and told all of them that Jimmy had fired him out of the blue and that he didn't know why. He even drove all the way to Sayaxché to tell the other Kekchi pastors lies about the situation. It appears that he really wanted the mission to fail without him. 

Last Sunday a group of men from SR showed up to the Bible study to speak on behalf of everyone else and let us know that they would no longer be attending the Bible study. Jimmy was able to share with them the truth, but in this culture, it is usually whichever story you hear first that sticks. Jimmy went to SR last Sunday afternoon and spoke for several hours to everyone explaining the situation. They eventually agreed with him that he had made the right decision, but they said that Jimmy should have spoke to them about it first. Jimmy apologized and said that they need to tell him anytime he goes against their culture so that he can learn to be more Kekchi. He WANTS to be more Kekchi. Most seemed to be planning on coming this Sunday, but Jimmy knew there were still a few who were apprehensive. 

This week the microbus went by like before, but no one came. Not a single person. Instead of having church this morning we took those who had come from San Pancho with us to SR to try and explain everything again. In this culture it takes several times to go over things. Lots of patience is required because they are thinkers. They like to think for a LONG time. Thankfully Domingo was here this morning along with Carlos, another national missionary who works in another part of Petén, and a young Kekchi man who will be attending the Institute this next summer to become a pastor. The 3 men who are mature Christians, have been in predicaments like this before, and are fluent in Kekchi and pretty good in Spanish were all part of God's plan. They were definitely sent by Him this morning. They went too and explained in Kekchi over and over again the story. 

We will be going again sometime this week with Domingo and Carlos for an official meeting in SR. Please pray! If this is God's will, for there to be a Kekchi church in San Pancho, pray than He would heal this mess. It was painful today to sit and listen to them talk about their allegiance to the other pastor. Is that what this was? Why does this have to be about a man? All this time we have been trying to draw them to God, never make them become attached to us. I don't get it anyway. Jimmy was preaching more than he was. I teach their children every week. I know them, love them. We are involved in so many parts of their lives beyond Sundays. We knew them first. We worked with their families for 2.5 years before this man ever came into their lives. But what trumped all of that was that we aren't Kekchi. We are foreigners. When does love start to trump ethnicity? This pastor was ready to leave them at any time for a better offer, but his word gets believed over ours because of his heart language. 

Please pray as our hearts are broken for these people. We feel that we are losing them for a second time, all because of lies. We are trying to be encouraged in that if God wasn't working then Satan wouldn't be fighting. Several were saved and being discipled as a result of this mission, so it wasn't in vain.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Purpose of the Institute

We have had a team here for the last week. Besides that we have been nearly overcome with issues and situations in just about all areas of our life the last 10 days. Hope this period is almost over, but it's probably not. Some things were painful but led to a purpose that God had chosen to complete in our lives and ministry. He does promise to work all things out for the good IF we are actively choosing Him.

I'll share some of the nitty gritty of mission life over the next couple posts, but first I want to share about this great team we just had. They were an evangelistic team that worked in villages with no work, a very young work, or a struggling one. 
The first day of outreach the kids and I got to go too. Usually when we don't go it is a space issue. This time since we were traveling by large boat, there was plenty of room!
{One of my children is a ham!} 
{Jonah in Daddy's hat}

It was a 2 hour boat ride to the village of San Martin. There has been a mission there for 7 years. Just to be clear, we call church plants "missions" until they become self supporting with a pastor and then they are a "church". 
This mission is so difficult to get to that Domingo hasn't been in 4 years. They do not have a pastor, only a "man in charge" who listens to the Kekchi Baptist radio station and then preaches what he learns. It is a very small mission because of this. The purpose of the institute (KBI) is to train men who have been called to preach to go pastor new or even struggling missions like these so that they can disciple more believers. 
The mission had a meal ready for us when we arrived. The team left an offering to cover the chickens we ate. This was the team's first caldo meal! 
Some were fans, some where not. I think it's truly delicious. This caldo had rice and white potatoes in it which the Kekchi call "the foreigner's sweet potatoes". It isn't very common in caldo. 
My boys are fans!

This was the team's first experience with other things too!

{The line for the bathroom!}
 The ladies were so sweet to Eden. Do you see how fat she is now?! Fat is good for her little growing brain, so I'm happy! Full term babies are SO different from preemies. 

 This is the first team we have ever had that learned songs in Kekchi. The people really liked it. I thought it was sweet!
At first the people from the village were a little shy, but they eventually came inside.
 The team had a wordless skit and then shared some testimonies. Pastor Rick finished it off with a clear presentation of the Gospel. 
Pastor Rick came down 2 Christmases ago to teach a KBI module. It meant a lot to us that he wanted to come back and bring people form his church this time to see the work here too. 
{Silas & Jonah making friends}
Our time was short, it was hard to leave. 
 Several walked down to the river bank to see us off. 
 The team sang most of the way back down the river. 
 Jonah sat next to pastor Rick the whole time he was playing the guitar. Jonah loves making music. This team was so sweet to my boys. I was so grateful for that! 
Please pray for the village of San Martin. Pray that God will call a national pastor to work with them and that more people will come to know the Lord there and grow in their relationship with Him.
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